Saturday, July 14, 2007

Englewood

I had a chance to drive thru on Halsted street to take a look at the new Kennedy-King College. 63rd & Halsted I've always considered the perfect location because of the L roaring overhead and the fact that it was always a commercial street full of storefronts. Although because Kennedy-King is being built there a lot of those storefronts are being torn down.

You know the original building on 69th and Wentworth was huge. I went there to take my ACTs when I was in high school. It was early enough for my mother to drop me off and when it was time to leave all I had to do was take the L from there and it was a short walk about two or three blocks to the Dan Ryan L. Still I can imagine that when Englewood can be revitalized that it will look almost like the Loop. Perhaps not totally but there will be some type of hustle and bustle.

I was riding along with my mother today. She talked about walking amongst National Guard soldiers back in the late 1960s because they had to restore order there, becuase of riots after Dr. Martin Luther King's death. As a result a lot of the businesses that were there before left.

Once upon a time there were some nice movie palaces there. They were torn down later though. There was a Sears there. Other retailers such as a Carr's, Wiebolts (I barely remember them because they used to be downtown on State & Madison), Walgreen's, and a Paddor's (where at one point in time one of my aunts worked). Ironically the only big time retailer stayed was Walgreen's where they were on exactly the corner of 63rd & Halsted but were moved to the east of the new Kennedy-King College campus in the last few years.

You know, I had to ask my mother if a Jewel's were there when she used to walk the streets of Englewood. She said that store used to be a Hillman's. I remember there was a Jewel just north of Halsted but eventually Jewel left and the building became a WIC shop where people can pick up some food provided that they qualify for the WIC program.

In addition further north on Halsted were some boarded up shuttered apartments. And they were reconstructing the streets on Halsted as well. We also see more of the vacant lots going north on Halsted.

On the way to 63rd we were already seeing signs for the new Kennedy-King featuring the City Colleges of Chicago's Chancellor and another sign with a person involved withe the City Colleges or Kennedy King. We saw an old campaign poster for Shirly Coleman (she was running for re-election as the 16th Ward Alderman and election she ultimately lost) she was looking quite nice too. Got her hair done and she could probably lose some weight too. Let's see Englewood rise and hopefully if the news should pan out, be the recipient of a Wal-mart.

I took some pictures along the way. I would like to post some.

LINKS
The New Kennedy King College
Englewood pics from Saturday
New Kennedy King College

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